17:20 Friday 1st June 2012
Drive BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
CHRIS MANN: More bad news on the economy. We’re hearing again that figures are getting worse, not better.
STEWART JACKSON: Well I think Chris this is a function as Andrew Lansley said of many things, but principally it’s not a lack of cash, actually, because businesses do have cash. It is about confidence, business confidence to replace machinery, take on new people, build a new factory. And it’s about the European Single Currency, and people are waiting to see what happens. We could be on the precipice of a catastrophic ejection in terms of not only Greece, but Spain, from the Single European Currency. And that has a massive impact. And that’s obviously going to affect exporters. The strength of the pound of course means that people like Perkins Engines, Caterpillar in my own constituency, are suffering a bit of a downturn as a result of that.
CHRIS MANN: Well Andrew Lansley talked of course in detail about the benefits to South Cambridgeshire, particularly in I.T. and electronics down here. But what about in Peterborough?
STEWART JACKSON: Well we are making progress. The construction industry is still quite robust. We’re a strong sub-regional shopping centre for retail. We’ve got the environment sector which has continued to grow in the city. But manufacturing nevertheless is a very important part of the economy in this constituency, and across the city of Peterborough. And therefore any poor figures are a worry. I know that at the moment Perkins, who are the biggest private sector employer in the city, are concerned about the sales in Europe and across the world. They’ve begun to take more permanent staff on, and that is obviously a worry that their recovery from the recession has stalled. I hope that the Government and particularly the Chancellor will look to the Autumn Statement for a Budget which is all about growth, cutting business taxes and regulations, and cutting taxes for families. Because I think that is an absolute priority, and that’s what I’ll be telling George Osbourne and the Prime Minister, and arguing on behalf of my constituents.
CHRIS MANN: Stewart Jackson, MP for Peterborough. Thank you. Joining us live from our studios there.